James Mizes

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9384

Approve Date

October 17, 2016

Project Title

Mizes, James Christopher, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Marketing Dakar: The Politics of Value in Urban West Africa,' supervised by Dr. Teresa Caldeira

JAMES CHRISTOPHER MIZES, then a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in October 2016 to aid research on ‘Marketing Dakar: The Politics of Value in Urban West Africa,’ supervised by Dr. Teresa Caldeira. Rename ‘Fiscal Autonomy: Urban Democracy and the Politics of Public Finance in Dakar, Senegal,’ this dissertation argues that contemporary transformations in urban democracy and citizenship are increasingly unfolding in the realm of municipal public finance. At stake in this research is a problem central to global development expertise today: how are municipalities going to constitute the legal, technical, and political authority to access enough monetary wealth to meet the democratic claims to public services made by rapidly growing urban populations? Senegal’s postcolonial political leaders designed the past half century of decentralization reforms to promote local democratic control over public services. Yet there is a persistent mismatch between political and fiscal decentralization. Although Senegal’s 2013 reforms legally assigned new revenues to municipal governments, widespread political and technical blockages regularly confound access to this much-needed wealth. As a result, fiscal flows in Dakar have today become particularly contentious sites in the formation of urban democratic states and the provision of urban public services. This dissertation argues that, far from being fixed by law, municipal fiscal authority is constituted by diverse and provisional techniques of rule over revenues.